Tea Party favorite Allen West talked a lot on the campaign trail in 2012 about the need for reigning in government spending. However, as one of his final acts as a member of the U.S. House after being defeated by Patrick Murphy, West doled out over $88,000 in bonuses to his congressional staff, the fourth highest amount of any member according to the website LegiStorm, which tracks congressional pay.
Retiring Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York was the most generous with public money, giving bonuses 100% above normal salary levels. Missouri’s Todd Akin was second with a 98 percent increase in pay for his staff. Rep. Chip Cravaack was the third most generous, according to LegiStorm.
Quarterly pay for West’s congressional staff was typically $192,233. During the final quarter of 2012, West’s congressional staff’s salaries amounted to $273,758.
Of the top 10 members of Congress most generous with year-end bonuses, nine were Republicans, and 14 of the top 20 were, not coincidentally, on their way out of the House.